‘Takoyaki Boys and Other Stories’ (A Review)


Carlou Barroca Espidillon

Carlou Barroca Espedillon’s debut book ‘Takoyaki Boys and Other Stories’ shows a glimpse of urban and rural life that is set in a way that is relatable, familiar and isolated. Even if you are not from GenSan or Alabel, you can still imagine the lives of its characters and how they cope up with their environment.

Espedillon and I live in the same town and walk or hang out in the same city. Reading his stories felt an ambivalent feeling knowing the fact that I am familiar with the settings yet it seems so unacquainted to me. Reading it needs to require deconstructing what you already know so that you can really see its true essence.

Espedillon’s grasp on campus journalism gave him an edge as a storyteller. Some of his stories act as though he is documenting an important event or retelling of a relevant issue with fresh eyes. For example, the story ‘Takoyaki Boys’ made a subtle commentary on the drug war campaign but he does not insist on it. Instead, he lets his readers immerse into this world and focus on the two characters who become estranged at the end of the story.

The stories in this book are diverse and cannot be easily boxed in one category. Readers, especially outside of the SOX region, can still relate to its characters and their predicaments. There is a universal appeal to Espedillon’s stories and how he constructs a world full of uncertainties, loneliness, and obscurity.

For a debut book, ‘Takoyaki Boys and Other Stories’ serves its purpose. Espedillon’s voice as a writer acts as a reminder that life gets so difficult that sometimes we need to laugh about it.



For inquiries and other information about the book, you can send a message to the official Facebook page of Rebo Press or their gmail - rebopress@gmail.com. You can also visit their website - rebopressph.com